Fit again Mikey Johnston should start for Celtic against Aberdeen

By John Reid

December 20, 2019

It is has been an up and down season for Celtic’s Mikey Johnston. He was out of action for months, but returned a few weeks ago off the bench with goals against Rennes and Ross County.

However, he was not on the bench for the recent win against Hearts, and has only started one game since the 2-0 win over Rangers in September, the recent 2-o loss to Cluj.

Hopefully he will return to the starting line-up soon, as Neil Lennon confirmed in a video on Celtic’s YouTube channel that the player is fit and available for selection to take on Aberdeen on Saturday.

The player should be handed a start for the game. It could be argued that he has earned the right to start after those excellent substitute performances for the club, allied to the great form he showed at the start of the season.

Start for attacker would allow player to move position

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

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Another benefit of playing Johnston on the wing is that it allows Ryan Christie to play in his natural ‘number 1o’ position.

Christie might have scored in the 2-0 win over Hearts playing on the wing, but he can influence the game far more in the middle of the park.

Neil Lennon will presumably want Christie to play in the ‘number 10’ position against Rangers at the end of the month. That can happen, if Johnston starts and impresses against Aberdeen.

Energy has been missed

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Celtic have still managed to win games with Johnston out of the team, but his energy has been missed. Look at his run onto Odsonne Edouard’s pass in the Betfred Cup Final for example. He might not have scored, but his attacking instincts drove him forward on a day when many Celtic players didn’t show up in an attacking sense.

There is really no downside to starting Johnston against Aberdeen. He needs game time, after so long out, and can use the match to re-establish himself in the team.